Thursday, October 30, 2008


There's this cute waiter in the neigbourhood resto. Rama notices, of course. And we chat about him.

Rama: Ya, he's guwapo.
Me: I think he's Italian.
Rama: He is!
Me: Pa'no mo nalaman?
Rama: 'Coz a lot of Italian people are more gwapo than English people.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A+. But Warning: Rant Ahead

So Rama aced her first Grade 1 exam. It was Math: Graphing.

She scored 20/21.

This was particularly sweet for me as I thought last week that she was slow to understand the lessons. I was getting used to the idea that she might not just be the type that did well in school. And that was ok. Gulp.

I would help her with some homework and it was such a struggle. Especially the question that runs something like this: "If there are 8 kids who like purple and 3 kids who like red, how many more kids like purple than red?" She would always just add 8 and 3 and come up with 11. Anyhow. By the time the test came, she got it, I guess.

So what question tripped her? The test asked the student to make tick marks and then graph the numbers. The hypothetical information was about juices and how many kids liked apple juice, grape juice and orange juice. The information showed that Apple juice was most popular, with most kids picking this.

And then the question: If we could only buy 1 type of juice, which one would we buy?

The correct answer was Apple, the juice that majority of the kids picked.

Rama didn't get that she was supposed to pick the majority choice. She picked Grape, the lowest scorer, with only 2 people choosing grape.

And this is where my rant starts. Isn't that a subjective question? I am not sure that I agree to teaching kids to go with the popular choice. Where does independent choice come into the picture? What if Rama wanted to support the underdog? Or the minority? I guess what raises my hackles is the impulse to reward conformity - as early as Grade 1. I worry that this little lesson is the start of thwarting independent thought, ironically in a supposed progressive society.


I am seriously considering writing the school board.

Update, November 1 2008. I handed the letter yesterday, Friday, AND got to chat with her. She quickly skimmed through it and we had a good conversation. Basically, Mrs. K justified that the intent was to simply get students to interpret the graph. She agreed that the wording was difficult, especially for Rama whose first language is not English. She was quite nice about it, but seemed just a tad defensive and really not too keen on discussing the underpinnings of the question, which I understand. To be fair, Mrs. K doesn't write the test questions; they come from a book of worksheets from which she picks (I figured this much from the looks of the paper). What reassured me was that it was an isolated case, and that generally, the teachings lean towards openness and acceptance of differences. And maybe, if and when she reads through my letter more carefully, the real point will sink in.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What You Think Of Between Sleep and Awake

That morning, while waiting for the bus, we were just casually chatting about how soon she'll be losing her front teeth.

Me: I wonder what you'll be eating to make your teeth come off. Maybe mais?
Rama: Or pizza crust.

And we left it at that.

Later that night, turns out she was still thinking about this conversation. Lights were out, we had said our goodnights, given each other kisses. And calmly drifting off to sleep. Or so I thought. Rama turns to me and wide-eyed, says:

Rama: Can I tell you? You know what I think will work to make my teeth come off?
Me: What?
Rama: Chicharon!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick or Treat!!!!

Happy Halloween to all!
A proud Toronto tradition, the yearly Zombie Walk brought an estimated 1,000 undead to the streets of the city. This punk-nurse zombie happened to be on the same streetcar that Rama took to the park, the start of the Zombie Parade.

After gawking at the zombies, running around the playground and picnicking on fish & chips, we made our way home and the girls started to plan THEIR halloween costumes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Red or White?

So Rama is in her drawing phase. She gets "commissioned work." As in, she asks people, what do you want me to draw, and then will execute.

Adult: Uhm, can you draw me drinking wine?
Rama: Ok! White wine or red?

Saturday, October 18, 2008


On our way home from school, Rama was so eager to tell stories about her day. She was talking with a mouth full of cookies. I had to remind her.

Me: Bago ka magkwento, dapat wala nang laman mouth mo.
Rama, after swallowing: But my tongue is always there!

Drawing Phase

Rama drew a portrait of one of her classmates.

And a self-portrait. "This is me eating soup."

Apple Picking We Went

One of the to-do's of fall, apple picking. Super-fun but super-quick too. The kids were so excited, they filled their bags in maybe 10 minutes. It took us longer to find a parking spot! The rest of the time at the orchard was for checking out the shop, drinking cider and just revelling in the fact that we're in an apple orchard!

She bites into the apples with her side teeth, not the front, because those are rockin'! Her "forever teeth" are coming soon. I'm guessing she'll be bungi come christmas.

Nica, Danielle and Rama at the orchard's play area

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eden Who?

Rama goes to public school. That means she gets no religious education. So I thought I'd get some religion going. And where else do we begin but from the very beginning - the creation story.

Me: Rama, alam mo yung Eden?
Rama: Yes! Wife ni Panday!

And a little argument ensued whether Eden was a person or a place. It's going to be a long night. Especially when she throws this at me:

Who is god's god?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Reality Check

Me: Rama, you want to see Hannah Montana's boyfriend? (shows trashy mag)
Rama: Why is she dressed like that?

Later in the evening, out of the blue, Rama observes: Hannah Montana looks better on TV than in real life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Burn, Baby, Burn

Of course I burned the croissant again this morning. But I had a very good excuse. Rama wanted more cuddle time. Long after the "ding" of the toaster oven, we were still giggling and snuggling under the blankie.

So I finally heaved myself out of bed (to rush would've been futile), and retrieved the goods from the oven. Not too pleased with myself. But Rama more than makes me feel better.

Me: Awww. I burned it again.
Rama: It's ok, Mommy. You're still my best mommy ever.

Today, they have a book fair at the school. She reminds me to bring money. There are five books on her wishlist. But she said she'd be happy with "just one, maybe two."